"USMZ" by Roman Montes de Oca.
"Forever Freshman", Issue #1, by Ray Mendivil & Neil Segura.
Roman's event was held in the Art District in Downtown Pomona, a lively neighborhood featuring many art studios and galleries. The release party was held at the Foggy Windowz Gallery, and Roman's artwork was on display, as well as his brand new comic book.
Roman's book deals with a Marine squadron pulling back into port after months overseas and landing right in the middle of a zombie infestation! Roman's story has that air of authenticity about it due to his tenure as a Marine years previously. The zombie stuff....well, we'll have to ask him what his experiences are there!
I visited his home studio some time ago and he showed me the progress of his book. He also gave me a mechanical pencil, the kind you can use with replaceable leads. Since then, I bought another one and use them with non-photo blue leads for drawing my layouts as well as using graphite leads for drawing with. He got me hooked on mechanical pencils and now my Ticonderoga #2 HB pencils sit unused in a cup by my desk......
It was very cool to see Roman debuting his book there amongst the many art galleries that were open that evening. The great thing about comics is that they don't have to only be confined to comic book stores and conventions. They're art, so anywhere were art is displayed and sold is a potential market for a book. I got there at about 6, but when I eventually left the area the streets were streaming with people walking from gallery to gallery. Roman got the word out, as he had plenty of people stopping by to pick up the book.
I left the Pomona area around 8pm and headed back to Whittier, as there was another comic book release party going on with another friend of mine.
GEEKS Comics was packed with people when I arrived. Everyone was there for the release of FOREVER FRESHMAN.
Good ol' Neil Segura. He and his friend Ray Medivil created this comic as a way to relive, and greatly embellish, many of their High School antics they had together.
Ray and Neil had actually debuted the comic at San Diego Comic Con a month prior, but this was a chance for all their local fans, friends and family to pick up a copy of the book. They put on a really good show, with raffles, food, artwork and general fun being had by all.
If you read my blog on Friday, you'll remember that both Roman and Neil had taken my DIY COMICS CRASH COURSE right there in GEEKS itself exactly one year and one day ago! So it was nice to come back to the scene of the crime, where it all began....
Congrats to all three of these creators, Ray, Neil and Roman, for completing their books. We all have a myriad of different reasons for creating our stories and self-publishing our work. But that evening was real fun to experience. Comics, like most art, takes a lot of work. So it's great to see people spending the time, making the sacrifices necessary, to make their dreams a reality.